I went to Missouri for an Elk hunt. It took us nine hours to get there. My Dad, Mom, and brother went too. We spent the night in Kirksville. We met John Bender for breakfast and then went to his ranch. He lives about 15 miles from where we were staying. Once we got to his ranch, he showed us around and I saw the Elk that I would be shooting later that day. It was bigger than I thought it would be! John’s son Hunter was there with us too. John has a pond that has catfish in it. He fed them so that I could see how big some of them were. John took us to his Uncle’s house to see the deer that he raises and he also had two Siberian tigers. It was nice to see the big deer up close. My brother got too close to one of the tigers and the tiger peed on him. We all thought that was pretty funny. We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then headed back to John’s ranch to hunt the elk.
We were ready to hunt the elk so I got in John’s rhino, my Dad was in the back and John was driving. We tracked down the elk and were able to get a good shot. I used my Dad’s 300 weatherby to shoot it. I was so excited to be shooing that big animal that it was hard to pull the trigger. I asked my Dad as soon as I shot the gun if I got a good shot. He said that I did. It was so awesome and I got an animal bigger than my brother did last year!! He only got a three-point buck.
It took 4 guys to load the elk on a trailer so that we could take it back to John’s barn because the meat processor was waiting for us.
After the hunt I was so excited that I could hardly sleep that night. I called Linda from the hotel room and thanked her for a great hunt and a BIG elk!
We continued our trip to Springfield, Missouri where we took a jeep tour through some Caverns. We toured the Bass Pro Shop Museum that they have in Springfield too. It was very cool to see the different kinds of mounts that were there. A lot of Fred Bear’s things were in the museum.
The next day we drove to Branson. In Branson we rode the Ducks, a vehicle that goes on land and water. It was a pretty cool ride. We went to the Body exhibit that was there too. The last day before we left, we rented a pontoon for the day and fished in Table Rock Lake. We didn’t catch anything, but it was fun anyway.
On the way home, we had to strap the elk horns to the top of our vehicle, as they were too big to put in the back and they smelled a lot too.
Linda and Andy came over the next day to hear about my hunt and to take the hide. We cooked some elk that night too and everyone had a taste.
Thank you Benefit4Kids for making my dream hunt come true!!
Benefit4Kids paid for the family’s lodging, food, travel expenses, outfitter, meat processing and taxidermist for Branden’s Outdoor Wish.
Branden harvested his 6x6, close to 1,000 lb bull elk at John Benders Outdoor Adventures in Green Castle MO. Also thank you to Days Inn of Kirksville for the room discount and to Stillwaters Condominums for the discount of the condo for the families use.
Thank you letter
September 16, 2007
21660 23 Mile Road
Macomb MI 48044
To the Officers, Board Members and supporters of Benefit4Kids:
Steve and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the wish granted to our son, Branden Gary. Watching him be able to do something that he has always wanted to do was a very fulfilling experience. The memories created will be with us forever.
Linda went above and beyond in getting our trip organized and re-organized. Her assistance was something that we could not have done without.
Benefit4Kids is a wonderful organization and one that we will support in any way that we can in the years to come.
Again, thank you for Branden’s wish. It was a wonderful week spent together as a family.
Steve & Marla Gary
Lisa Paige’s Outdoor Wish was to go to Colorado Elk hunting so Benefit4Kids sent her to fulfill her outdoor wish. Lisa suffers from Neurofibromatosis (NF1), which causes tumors to grow anywhere on her body at any given time and NFL has many facets of affection. In December of 2005 Lisa underwent surgery to have rods placed in her spine to help her condition. Her hunt was from September 7 – 18, 2007
Walked out to the school house, a spot where Bob had took us to sit and called in a 5x6 30 yards Jimmy and I but I was unable to shoot him. The 5x6 was approximately 20 feet from Bob and my dad. There was a 4x4 that had snuck up behind my dad and Bob but no one saw him until it was too late. We hunted in the evening but we only saw a couple of cows and 2 mule deer but no shots were taken, it was a slow evening hunt.
Dad was sick so Bob; Jimmy and I went to the cattails. The three of us did some walking; Jimmy and Bob did some calling with no luck but still hoping for an evening hunt. For the evening hunt we walked into Bear Wallow to try our luck. We saw two-mule deer and one nice 4x4 buck with a heavy rack, one doe, got a glimpse of a cow/calf so we sat and tried to do some calling but no luck was with us. The wind was blowing in the wrong direction. The wind was blowing our scent uphill towards the elk. We decided that we better get out of there and started on a stalk but had no luck.
Some how dad and I could not get out of bed in the morning, Jimmy had come to the door to wake us up but we were snoring so hard that Jimmy had thought it would be a good day to sleep in. Later that morning we decided to make a plan for a new location for the evening hunt. For the evening hunt we walked into one of Bob’s favorite hunting spots, which has always in the past been a good producer of game. We walked up on a 4x4 and three cows which had broke over the ridge, we had sat down to try and call them back with no luck. But we did happen to see a bear and cub working through the area back to camp for dinner.
We hunted Bear Wallow again and seen allot of black squirrels, chipmunks, a mule deer there was a doe was coming in to get a drink but she might have gotten spooked or winded us or saw some movement because she snorted and blew over the hillside. For the evening hunt we went back to where I missed the 5x6 bull and sat in a blind I heard 4 or 5 different bulls calling and seen three cows, two mule deer and my 5x6 bull he just would not come close enough. The closest we had seen him was approximately 140 yards down hill. We watched him bugle and round up his cows. They bedded down for the night and we will return in the morning.
We went back to the blind and called on our way and heard 2 or 3 different bugles back at us. Jimmy and Bob sat behind us and made some cow calls and bugled trying to lure in the big boy. We seen a 3x4 at about 1500 yards away while my dad and I made a plan as to where to shoot from but he slipped into the brush and he had heard the big boy bugle and leave. For the evening hunt we went to the same spot and had no luck, we had seen nothing, Jimmy and Bob called and saw three cows but my dad and I saw nothing.
Jimmy and I went to a lower part of the little forest but didn’t see any Bulls while my dad and Bob sat up high and trying to call something in for me. I did see two cows, one mule deer, one hen and seven chicks. Our evening hunt plan is to go to the blind down below the runways and park. We got the blind around 6:20 pm and there was a lot of action, we had 2 or 3 calls by 6:40 pm. Started calling into the valley below, it had taken a while but it lit up the bulls in that area. Bob had tried to get one to come up close but no luck was there with us and the last bit of shooting light was fading fast and 4 cows had come into the park area. Jimmy and I could not see any longer so we had to call it a night.
Move to rock cabins, no luck
Rain all day on and off, no hunting
We didn’t hunt in the morning due to the rain but we got out in the evening. We went out with Bob, Jonathon and Justin and all them guys are calling; as a bull was about to be in shooting range it started to downpour and thunder my luck ran out.
No I didn’t not get my elk but I had a wonderful time, the time I spent in Colorado with Bob, Jimmy and my dad and everyone else there I met will be with me the rest of my life.
Thank you to Benefit4Kids for making this happen for me, thank you to Rick Smith, Bob (Curly), Tim and Kip from Bear Creek Outfitters Lodge, Jonathon, Justin and West Muddy Cablow.
A special thank you goes out to Jim Reifert who took me under his wing and took me to the coolest spots and worked so hard to try to get me an elk, your awesome and will not be forgotten, thank you! Jim is also on the B4K Board of Directors.
Thank you to the Colorado Department of Wildlife for this opportunity to be the first recipient of this program.
Benefit4Kids would like to thank Bob at Bear Creek Outfitters Lodge for donating their guide services. Benefit4Kids paid for all expenses for Lisa’s Outdoor Wish.
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